Salukis pick up DH sweep of Wichita State

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    April 6, 2013

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    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois softball team picked up a doubleheader sweep of Wichita State Saturday afternoon at Charlotte West Stadium.

    The Salukis came back from a 6-4 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the opener 7-6 on Kalyn Harker's walkoff RBI single. SIU's offense exploded for 13 hits in a 14-6 run-rule win in Game 2. SIU improved to 16-18 overall and 4-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference while the Shockers fell to 14-20 overall and 5-5 in the MVC.

    "We picked up two big wins," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. "We fought back in that first game and in the second game our offense set the tone, which was awesome."

    Game 1
    SIU 7, Wichita State 6
    Game 1

    Southern saw a 4-0 lead after five innings evaporate, but the Salukis rallied in the seventh inning to recover for the win.

    SIU scored one run each in the first four innings while holding the Shockers scoreless through five. Jayna Spivey knocked in SIU's first run on an RBI single before Michelle Bradley picked up an RBI on a sac fly in the second inning. Morgan Barchan hit a solo home run in the third before the Salukis took the 4-0 advantage on an RBI single by Kelsey Gonzalez in the fourth.

    Saluki starter Brittney Lang was solid through the first five innings, holding WSU scoreless on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts during the stretch. The Shockers broke through in the sixth inning, however, to score four runs on six consecutive hits to tie the game at 4-4, knocking Lang out of the game.

    "Brittney threw a lot better than the score indicated if we make some plays," Blaylock said.

    The Shockers continued their surge into the seventh inning, taking a 6-4 lead after touching reliever Alyssa Wunderlich for a pair of runs on four hits and a walk.

    SIU bounced back in the bottom of the seventh, however, as Barchan led off with a single and Spivey hit a home run two batters later to tie the game up. WSU put Allie VadeBoncouer on base with a hit-by-pitch and Meredith Wilson singled to move VadeBoncouer into scoring position. Kalyn Harker drove WSU reliever Sloan Anderson's offering deep to left field to score VadeBoncouer for the game winner.

    Spivey finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI while Barchan went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and Harker also picked up two hits. Wunderlich (6-8) picked up the win after allowing two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of relief.

    "I was really proud that we came back in the end and got the win, which was important," Blaylock said.

    Game 2
    SIU 14, Wichita State 6 (6 innings)
    Game 2

    Southern broke a 4-4 tie in the fourth inning and out-scored the Shockers 10-2 over the final three innings for the run-rule win in six innings.

    SIU again jumped out to an early lead, taking a 4-1 advantage into the third inning. The Salukis scored all four runs in the first frame on six hits as Kalyn Harker and Meredith Wilson both picked up RBI hits and Michelle Bradley hit a two-run single.

    Despite starting the third inning with two outs, the Shockers rebounded to score three runs in the inning off Saluki starter Alyssa Wunderlich to tie the game at 4-4.

    SIU responded in the fourth with back-to-back walks before Jayna Spivey reached on an error to load the bases. Allie VadeBoncouer followed with SIU's fourth grand slam of the season to give the Salukis an 8-4 advantage.

    WSU added another run in the top of the fifth before the Salukis churned out four more runs in the bottom of the inning. Kelsey Gonzalez scored on a throwing error before VadeBoncouer drew a bases-loaded walk to push Morgan Barchan across. Kalyn Harker followed with a sacrifice fly to score Taylor Orsburn and Wilson later hit an RBI double to account for Southern's other runs.

    The Shockers scored again in the top of the sixth to pull within 12-6, but SIU scored two more in the bottom of the inning to end the game early. Gonzalez hit a solo home run, the first of her career, before Orsburn followed with a double and Spivey drove in pinch runner Michelle Glenn for the final tally.

    Wilson went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI to pace the Saluki offense while Orsburn and Spivey both went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Also, Harker went 2-for-3 with two RBI while Michelle Bradley drove in two runs and VadeBoncouer drove in five runs for the day.

    "Offensively, we were just really good, which was what we needed to be," Blaylock said.

    Katie Bertelsen (2-2) picked up the win after throwing 1.1 innings in relief of Wunderlich. Bertelsen gave up just one earned run on three hits. Brittney Lang picked up her third save of the season after allowing one earned run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in the final 2.0 innings.

    The Salukis and Shockers will be back at Charlotte West Stadium at noon Sunday for the series finale as SIU looks to sweep the series and push its winning streak over WSU to nine straight.

    "We just need a lot of energy," Blaylock said of the finale. "When you play somebody that many times, you just need to have a lot of energy and you have to be ready to go."